It is allowed that vocations and employments of least dignity are of the most apparent use; that the meanest artizan or manufacturer contributes more to the accommodation of life, than the profound scholar and argumentative theorist; and that the publick would suffer less present inconvenience from the banishment of philosophers than from the extinction of any common trade.

— Samuel Johnson, “Petty Writers Not to Be Despised

“How’s it been for you guys?” we asked our frequently-seen grocery-store buddy. “It’s so strange!” he said. “People are thanking us! Is this how the troops feel? I mean, I just put beans on the shelf!” I remember once hearing a lawyer from one of the sub-branches of copyright law joke about how if he and his colleagues went on strike, no one would even notice, but if the garbage collectors went on strike, we’d all be dead of cholera within two weeks. Thank goodness for the non-glamourous keystones of society. As the saying goes, they also serve who only sit and work the register.